Ashleigh Byrne

Research Support Officer - Technical & Scientific Writer

Ashleigh provides support to both the EU Programme is the INFANT Sesame Manager.

Since 2010 Ashleigh has worked as a researcher in both the UK and Ireland in the areas of biochemistry, cell biology, and neuroscience. During her PhD she was involved in the discovery and validation of a novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for prostate cancer. This included an industrial placement at Philip’s Research, Eindhoven. Following this, she returned to UCC to take up a research position in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology where she studied retinal degeneration, with a focus on the rare genetic disease retinitis pigmentosa.

Ashleigh has extensive experience in various research techniques, scientific and technical writing, reviewing manuscripts, lecturing, student mentoring, and more recently; education and public engagement and outreach. Since the beginning of 2017, she has been a volunteer Demonstrator and Communicator with the SFI-funded for the CellEXPLORERS outreach programme.


Career Profile: 

  • 2018-present - Research Support Officer for the EU Programme and Education Public Engagement and Communications, INFANT Research Centre.
  • 2014-2018 - Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University College   Cork; investigating the neuroprotective effects of the synthetic progestin norgestrel in retinal degeneration.
  • 2010-2014 - PhD in Integrated Biology, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow; Validation and Characterisation of a Novel Prostate Cancer Biomarker, in collaboration with the Prostate Cancer and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) group and Philip’s Research, Eindhoven.
  • 2004-2008 - BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University College   Cork. 


Professional Activities/Achievements: 

  • Voluntary Demonstrator and Communicator, CellEXPLORERS. An SFI funded outreach programme. Advocated STEM to primary school children by means of presentations and hands-on experiments.
  • External Marketing /PR Committee Member, Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM). The Committee works with a PR firm to develop social media content and identify opportunities to promote SfRBM research in the mainstream press.
  • Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry, University College Cork. Prepared and carried out lectures to undergraduate and master’s students.
  • Published author of peer-reviewed manuscripts.
  • Invited reviewer for new manuscripts.
  • Invited speaker at a variety of national and international conferences in various areas of healthcare and therapeutics.
  • Completed training in various UCC CPD courses including a one-day Project Management course ran by Fistral, and Lean Yellow Belt training.
  • A founding member of the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society; acted as Secretary and Public Relations Officer to assist the society in organizing educational and social events for students and develop relationships with industry representatives to organise career evenings, and with local businesses to procure sponsorship for our annual awards nights.
  • Winner of the SFI Undergraduate Research Experience and Knowledge Award (UREKA) student scholarship award.
  • Certified Occupational First Aid Responder (FETAC Level 5).